On Titles

When I published this website, the tagline read 'Candidate for Unitarian Universalist Ministry.'  It no longer does.

Last Friday, I was granted Preliminary Fellowship by the Ministerial Fellowship Committee of the Unitarian Universalist Association (MFC & UUA, respectively).  This means that institutional Unitarian Universalism recognizes me as a minister.  In their words:

...the term "Minister" applies to those persons whose work is theologically grounded, whose work expresses Unitarian Universalist values and principles, whose self and contextual understanding are as a professional religious leader, and who has been granted fellowship by the MFC.

In our tradition this is separate from the act of Ordination, which will happen sometime in the next few months.  Because I am not yet ordained, I do not claim the 'Rev.' title or wear a stole in worship.

Preliminary Fellowship is a three year process of further professional development and learning, culminating in the MFC granting a minister Final Fellowship.  There are few visible differences in our day to day professional lives (ministers in Final Fellowship can supervise interns, for instance).

Receiving Preliminary Fellowship was, for me, the culmination of a six year process of discernment, graduate education, chaplaincy, parish internship, and 180 pages of written material submitted to the UUA.  It is a very, very exciting step in the life of a minister.